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Big Trouble on Upgrade! (Read 5711 times)
Henry Stein
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Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Jul 20th, 2014, 6:27pm
 
Version 6 installed and ran well initially.  Problems started when I opened files created in version 5.12. The display of objects has many differences. In TB6 warm grey tones in adorments are much lighter and cannot be darkened to match the colors in TB5. In TB6 the text sizes and alignment in notes and adornments are not only a little different, in some cases the full text of a note or title does not appear. Even if I rename the note, some of the text at the end is missing (even in very short notes). When i go back to TB5 and re-open the file, everything appears the way it was originally designed.   Rather than struggle to re-work my entire file to adapt to the quirks of TB6, I am returning to TB5. Should the display of a file created in TB5 be identical in TB6? Are these bugs in TB6? Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

TB6 Sample:

TB5 Sample:
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« Last Edit: Jul 20th, 2014, 6:55pm by Henry Stein »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #1 - Jul 21st, 2014, 6:31am
 
Quote:
Should the display of a file created in TB5 be identical in TB6?


No, there are minor changes to some defaults. If you find colours change, I would set them explicitly (e.g set 'normal' values to the actual value used) in v5 before using v6. That may help.

There have been changes to the way TB renders map icons and the amount of text shown does vary (at least for some people) so notes may need to be re-sized in v6 or the size of $NameFont altered.

Quote:
Are these bugs in TB6?


No, insofar as I believe the changes to defaults were planned. The v6 defaults aren't fully documented yet, though I do know that the Map background colour was #f2f2e6 in v5 and in v6 it is #f2f2ed.

I think you are better off emailing support to find out specific changes for colours/sizes, etc.

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« Last Edit: Jul 21st, 2014, 6:32am by Mark Anderson »  

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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #2 - Jul 21st, 2014, 12:16pm
 
Tinderbox Six tried to choose more appealing and sensible defaults.  For example, the opacity of adornments has been reduced to make them visually lighter, and this apparently vexes you.

If you prefer darker adornments, try changing their color to a dark variant of the color. Or, define a new color that looks the way you'd like it to appear.

You may find, though, that some of the visual changes are actually beneficial.
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Henry Stein
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #3 - Jul 22nd, 2014, 10:31am
 
Mark, you misunderstand my concerns. I am not "vexed"by the attempt to improve the appearance of adornments in TB6. However, I am disappointed in the inability of TB6 to accurately display maps made in TB5. I have about 30 complex maps created in TB5 and it will be a nightmare to tweak, re-color, and resize fonts on each of these maps if I want them to display properly in TB6.  

I tried adjusting the level of darkness for the adornments, but darkness.lightness changes in the inspector have no effect on the display. I also tried re-sizing my notes, so that they would contain all of the text, but that strategy yields erratic results, sometimes text vanishes no matter how large I make the note.

I have no doubt that some of the visual changes in TB6 will actually prove beneficial on newly created maps. However, my present, practical need is for TB6 to simply display maps accurately that were created in TB5. Is there any global way for TB6 to do this? I do not have the time or expertise to experiment with modifying the individual attributes in 30 maps.
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Demogorgon
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #4 - Aug 16th, 2014, 11:43pm
 
No response yet?  Henry’s post inspired me to write some thoughts about some of TB6’s intended cosmetic improvements.  Looking back now, I realize that all that TB5 needed was:

1.  Shrink the scroll bars on windows to increase real estate.

2.  Inherit NSTextView so that users can enjoy all the normal text editing freebies we’re accustomed to—like smart quotes and smooth scrolling—and get rid of some of the more ridiculous TB5 quirks—like scroll position jumping whenever you save or change focus.

But many other things were changed to the detriment of TB users everywhere.  Here are the biggest heartaches in TB6:

ANTI-SYNOPTIC OUTLINE VIEW—Vertical spacing in TB6 Outline View is gigantic.  Density is concomitant with Outline View.  Keep it that way!  TB5 enabled the user to determine the vertical spacing with a slider.  Now Outline View is a space hog.  Bring the slider back or make the form of Outline View fit its function!  Outlining is all about synopsis; outlines are not mind-maps.

PAINFUL, CANDIED ATTRIBUTE ACCESS—The all-in-one panel was the number one gripe of new users.  I also used to think that the Inspector, Rename, and Get Info panels were oh-so-scary.  All-in-one reduces all attributes to the same level.  And that’s upsetting.  I wondered if some of these attributes could be teased out and segregated—for example, the more frequently used ones.  But then I discovered that there ARE no frequently used ones … besides those that have been duplicated in the Rename dialog.  Yes Mark, beginning users will THINK they love the many-mediated journey through smooth eye candy nonsense that lets them change attributes in TB6.  But anyone who wants to GTD will pine for the olden times of the all-in-one Info dialog, whose categories were well typed, whereby any attribute could be set in TWO steps only: click category and enter data.  Now we have to click TWO menus to access an attribute and all attributes are hidden after category selection.  So much for user-friendly display.  Let’s unpack that Attributes drop-down.  The all-in-one Info dialog in TB5 was great.  Please bring it back.

FONTS—Mark’s worry about the clunky look-and-feel of TB5 picked up a life of its own and ventured far from utility and out into the wastelands of wanting to integrate iOS font rendering and liquidy Aqua aesthetics.  So now the font rendering is light, thin, wispy, feminine—and hard to read.  Just compare Henry’s two uploads above.  Fonts with good color boundaries are easy to read.  The new iOS-inspired font rendering is hard to see.  Mark, please reinstate clear and opaque font rendering.

BEVELS—Mark thought that the angularity and quick gradients of TB5 note bevels looked too DOS/Windows.  False!  Bring them back!  They were gorgeous apparitions of crisp position!  Again, compare Henry’s two uploads.  The new sloping logarithmic bevels in TB6 bleed into the background and have weak color boundaries (like the fonts).  I hope Mark brings back the old opaque font rendering and the crisp bevels.  iOS-flavored map views, compared to those in TB5, are demoralizing.

MULTIPLE WINDOWS (SAVEABLE)—The killer problem for everyone.  Needs no comment here.

This concludes my heartfelt rant about TB.  Looks like I’ll have to have a dedicated computer that will forego OS upgrades so I can keep using TB5.  The upset of having to use Textedit to work around TB5’s nightmare lack of smart quotes and its jumping scroll position is nothing compared to the upset of puffy outlines and single window that handicaps TB6.
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« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2014, 1:12am by Demogorgon »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #5 - Aug 17th, 2014, 3:57am
 
@Demogorgon, this is a user forum so I'd not expect Eastgate to get into a public debate on UI minutiae here. If you want feedback on your points, email support. I will make a few notes correction on the last for later readers:

'just' tweaking v5 a bit. I'm afraid its more complex than that.  TB v5 was build-using frameworks now getting harder to support and which predate pervasive Unicode support. The choice, as described, was to move to xCode and modern Cocoa frameworks. However, the world moves on and some aspects of TB5's design simply didn't survive what has been a total re-write of the code (no small undertaking). It's also why a few less used views are currently missing - it may be no-one really needs hem. Export is still due a root-and-branch review; it's why a number of export related issues exist in v6.0.x as Export is still en route to that revision. Bottom line v6 is simply not v5 with a lick of paint. Not is it just an iOS-ified TB. A caucus of users have been pushing for fewer windows but as early testing showed that simply doesn't cover all use cases. Since then various forms of extra window options have been introduced, though simply recreating v5 views doesn't fit the current frameworks.

Saving window state. Eastgate have said this will come so people don't need to keep asking.  I suspect it's not so easy right now as the UI is still bedding down - consider torn off windows vs. 'main' ones, do all get saved on close, etc.?

Outline view leading. This is a know ongoing issue and is being addressed. From a user perspective it's just right/wrong. Behind the curtain, the issue is a little more complex. TB's in a new (code) home. Bedding down is taking a little while.
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« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2014, 3:59am by Mark Anderson »  

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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #6 - Aug 17th, 2014, 4:49am
 
Attribute access:

Get Info is still there in TBX 6. Cmd-opt-I + down arrow to reach 'Attributes' in the side bar, then choose the category, select the attribute, make the change. So, it's only one down arrow longer than in V5

In fact, it's better, because there is now a search box, so if you know the name of the attribute, you can go straight to it.

I don't think it's perfect -- you should be able to tab from the side bar to the search field and then directly to the input field of the attribute without using the mouse -- but it's still an enhancement on the V5 arrangement.

I hadn't actually noticed the outline leading issue. My problem with the outline is that occasionally the selection process is a bit wonky -- if you want to select more than a screen's height of lines it can be unpredictable. I also don't see anything wrong with the font display or the graphics as a whole, but then I'm probably graphically challenged...

My main issues with 6 at the moment are (leaving aside the need for better windows management, which is already noted and being addressed, we're told) all concern the need for smoother navigation by keyboard. At the moment, concentration is broken too often by needing to reach for the mouse in contexts where it shouldn't be necessary:

* tab navigation (apparently this is already in beta)
* hoist / unhoist in outlines
* tab navigation through the Get Info and other panels

These are minor irritations though, rough edges which I trust will be smoothed out soon enough. Overall, I already find v6 easier and smoother to work with than v5.
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J Fallows
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #7 - Aug 17th, 2014, 9:58am
 
Like David Bertenshaw, I am in glass-way-more-than-half-full mode about TB6. Eg
Quote:
My main issues with 6 at the moment are (leaving aside the need for better windows management, which is already noted and being addressed, we're told) all concern the need for smoother navigation by keyboard. At the moment, concentration is broken too often by needing to reach for the mouse in contexts where it shouldn't be necessary:

* tab navigation (apparently this is already in beta)
* hoist / unhoist in outlines
* tab navigation through the Get Info and other panels


This sums it up for me. I could have a much longer list of positive changes. My own #1 priority, now that stability issues are nearly all resolved, is the multi-window, saveable-window situation.

Different topic: This is generally a real-name forum, which seems especially important / appropriate when one is making a roundhouse complaint. Seems fair to Mark Bernstein, whose name and ID we all know, to let him know who you are when complaining so directly about his work. (This is on assumption that Demogorgon is not your real name.) If he already does know, then never mind.
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« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2014, 10:36am by J Fallows »  
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Mark Bernstein
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No Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #8 - Aug 17th, 2014, 8:43pm
 
Since “Demogorgon” asks, I'll again address a few of the questions raised here.  

First, let's maintain perspective. We're talking about details of font rendering, precise shades of brown, arrangement of controls in dialogs and inspectors, and whether outline items should be separated by one pixel or three. In the very worst case, we're talking about making manual adjustments in maps which, previously, we somehow found time to create and revise, and which typically involve things like novels, curriculum plans, travel itineraries, foundation grants, and rocket science.

Second, the transition you describe as "inherit from NSTextView", which certainly sounds reasonable enough, required approximately 300 classes of objects to either be ported from a different framework or rewritten from scratch. It was, in short, a fairly large and complex undertaking. And that’s just one facet of the Tinderbox Six design and implementation, all of which, incidentally, was undertaken under considerable time pressure.

Some of the changes people observe are changes that inhere in modern Macintosh graphics rendering. Some people don’t like modern rendering – Demogorgon clearly doesn’t. That concern is best addressed to Apple (and may, incidentally, be ameliorated by using a really good display).

Before dismissing a design as "many-mediated journey through smooth eye candy nonsense" it might be useful to first understand the design -- especially since you apparently liked the old system to which the new design bears a considerable resemblance -- not least because I designed ’em both.  The new Quickstamp, for example, is *much* easier to use and is more, not less, direct than the old.  In any case, again, modal dialogs like Create/Rename are being replaced throughout the Mac world by popovers and by palettes. Indeed they have been replaced; we're late to that party, not early. In the old days, you selected a note and pressed Enter; now you select a note and choose an inspector pane. (Sure, we'll have keyboard shortcuts to more inspector panes.)

On bevels: I'm open to discussion. I rather like plain, unleveled objects at the moment, but Tinderbox has always used bevels by default and I'm reluctant to change that.  But again: we're doing real work here -- at least, that's the hope and intent. I'm happy to discuss things like bevels, but let's not get carried away.

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Timm
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #9 - Aug 19th, 2014, 3:09am
 
Happy user of TB 6 here with a couple of friendly comments.

Attributes: I think the management of attributes has improved dramatically, particularly with the search feature and the Get Info pane. Also, David, I'm not sure what's different on your setup but here I can set and edit attributes all with the keyboard. Cmd+opt+i then tab then search then tab 2 or 3 times and you're editing. And `escape` to finish! I can also navigate down the Get Info list with the arrow keys right after opening GetInfo.

Keyboard: Some people may like to check out Keyboard Maestro. I've been changing tabs with the keyboard since 6 was released... It's always a personal thing, I use KM to achieve basic things I can't otherwise in even the most customisable of environments (e.g. a Terminal/tmux/emacs setup), so I wouldn't expect too much on this side from an ambitiously-interfaced application (though it is generally excellent anyway).


More generally, I remember someone during the beta stage saying they were worried about Tinderbox losing its 'quirkiness' in 6, but it really hasn't, and that's great. People worry the same thing about the next OS X and iOS but neither Apple (mostly) nor Eastgate are dumbing things down or flattening 'real' depth; it's just change & play.
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« Last Edit: Aug 19th, 2014, 3:13am by Timm »  
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #10 - Aug 19th, 2014, 4:56am
 
Tim,

Quote:
Attributes: I think the management of attributes has improved dramatically, particularly with the search feature and the Get Info pane. Also, David, I'm not sure what's different on your setup but here I can set and edit attributes all with the keyboard. Cmd+opt+i then tab then search then tab 2 or 3 times and you're editing. And `escape` to finish! I can also navigate down the Get Info list with the arrow keys right after opening GetInfo.


Yes -- you're right. Must have been fixed in 6.0.2... Excellent. But here's a funny thing: open a file, then cmd-opt-i on a note. If the Get Info panel opens on a note (not an agent) with the sidebar focus on Agent, then down arrow to attribute and try to tab: it doesn't work.

To test, try this:

* select an note (not an agent), and make sure the side bar focus is on Agent (which is usually the case when you first open a file, or when the previous Get Info was on an Agent). As expected, you can't tab to the Query and Action fields.
* close the info panel and reopen it for the same note (or for another note, doesn't matter)
* the side bar focus will still be on agent.
* down arrow to Attributes and try to tab: it doesn't work.
* close the panel and reopen it
* the sidebar focus will be on Attributes and tab will work again.

If you can replicate this, I'll report it as a bug.

[EDIT: clarify that the problem only seems to apply to Notes, not Agents, when the get info panel opens with sidebar focus on Agent]

It explains why I didn't notice the fix -- when I tried it the focus must have been on Agent, so when it didn't work, I assumed it hadn't been fixed yet. But I'm still pleased now you've told me -- thanks!


Quote:
Keyboard: Some people may like to check out Keyboard Maestro. I've been changing tabs with the keyboard since 6 was released... It's always a personal thing, I use KM to achieve basic things I can't otherwise in even the most customisable of environments (e.g. a Terminal/tmux/emacs setup), so I wouldn't expect too much on this side from an ambitiously-interfaced application (though it is generally excellent anyway).


How do you get KM to change the tabs? I tried, but in the absence of menu items (Next tab, Previous tab etc), the only way I could find was to use 'Move or Click mouse' which is problematic because window placement varies. It would be great if you've got a better way.

Thanks
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« Last Edit: Aug 19th, 2014, 5:10am by David Bertenshaw »  
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Jon B.
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #11 - Aug 19th, 2014, 11:50pm
 
I think Eastgate/Mark Bernstein has done a great job with TB 6. It's a total rewrite and has lots of things going for it. It clearly has Mr. Bernstein's personal vision as a big part of it (viz a viz "product marketing") but he has done a good job over a long period of time evolving the product to meet users' requests and needs. The biggest challenge of a major software release is dealing with the aftermath of it, and that's what's happening now. I hope he can keep up the strong pace and momentum and continue to evolve the product. I suspect if as much work occurs over the next 12 months as over the last, people will be very, very happy with the result. But today, it's a big step up from the prior version on an all-things-considered basis, even if some things are still to be done.
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Timm
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #12 - Aug 20th, 2014, 2:29am
 
Quote:
If you can replicate this, I'll report it as a bug.

It explains why I didn't notice the fix -- when I tried it the focus must have been on Agent, so when it didn't work, I assumed it hadn't been fixed yet. But I'm still pleased now you've told me -- thanks!

No worries. And yes I can replicate this issue, so it's a bug.

Quote:
How do you get KM to change the tabs? I tried, but in the absence of menu items (Next tab, Previous tab etc), the only way I could find was to use 'Move or Click mouse' which is problematic because window placement varies. It would be great if you've got a better way.

I do just use 'Move or click mouse'. You can define the click relative to the window rather than the screen, so window placement doesn't matter, just how many tabs you have opened. I'm almost always just using 2 tabs so it's not an issue for me, but you may be able to get it to work for variable 2, 3, maybe 4 tabs with a bit of clever click placement.
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Big Trouble on Upgrade!
Reply #13 - Aug 20th, 2014, 3:13am
 
Tim,

Thanks for the update. I'll report the bug for completeness -- it's only minor and now I know about it I can work around it.

Thanks also for the KM tip -- I'll play around with it and see what I can get.

Cheers
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